BY TOM YATES – One at a time. Slowly but surely, we’ve finally blown through the entire crate of fresh tangerines, grapefruits, and Navel oranges our realtor sent us during the holidays. Although we thoroughly enjoyed them, they are now thoroughly gone. Whew!
I’ve done everything with them except deep fry them and that probably would have happened had I not finished them off the other night.
Not even a recipe.
I whisked equal parts olive oil, fresh lemon juice, fresh orange juice, and orange blossom honey in a large non-reactive bowl with one clove of minced garlic. I dropped skin-on chicken breasts, thighs, legs, and wings into the marinade and set them aside on the countertop for an hour to absorb the flavors.
While the chicken soaked up the sweet citrus marinade, I sliced very thin orange and lemon wheels.
I pulled the chicken out of the honey bath, reserved the marinade, patted the pieces dry, and slid the citrus rings under the skins. I got my grill pan smoking hot and carefully placed the chicken onto the sizzling ridges, turning them once to brown on both sides. I added lemon and orange halves around the chicken cut side down to char and color.
After preheating the oven to 375 degrees, I arranged the chicken on an oiled and foiled sheet pan, scattered the remaining citrus rings over the chicken, tucked the grilled citrus halves throughout the pieces, tossed in fingerling potatoes, and drizzled the reserved marinade over everything. After seasoning generously with salt and cracked pepper, I slid the pan into the oven to roast for an hour.
That was it.
A few minutes before pulling the chicken from the oven, I steamed fresh broccoli florets until tender and bright green.
When I pulled the chicken from the oven, it had transformed. Calling it glazed chicken would have been an understatement. It was smothered, coated, covered, bathed, and cocooned in a lemony orange garlic honey death mask. It was not for the faint of heart, especially for those who can’t tolerate mixing savory and sweet with meats.
First things first. I squeezed the roasted lemon and orange juice over the chicken, releasing their smoky concentrated citrus syrup. I basted the intensely caramelized chicken with the sticky pan juices before prying the glazed pieces from their sweet sauna to plate with the fingerling potatoes tucked around the pieces. As a wink to healthy living, I nestled the innocent glowing broccoli florets next to the chicken. Poor things.
In true gluttonous fashion, I poured the remaining pan juices into ramekins for chicken dipping.
The chicken was incredibly moist and terrific. It pulled from the bones with ease, spilling into the sticky goo. The bright citrus flavors were long gone, having surrendered into sweet fruit candy, rinds and all. The skin-tucked citrus wheels oozed and dripped out from under the crisp charred caramelized chicken skins while the scattered fresh fruit simply collapsed and melted into the roasted honey-garlic-citrus marinade, creating a condensed stickier lip licking sauce.
The potatoes went unnoticed and untouched. They didn’t stand a chance. Who needed them? Boring. Gratuitous.
The perfectly cooked broccoli was delicious and soothing. Although much needed and welcomed, it felt curiously out of place, like wearing white satin pearl-buttoned opera length ball gloves for garden weeding. Fabulous, but not necessary.
The oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines were fun to have around.
Time to move on.